Charter News • November 4, 2018

Charter News

November 4, 2018


As long as you keep going, you'll keep getting better. And as you get better,

you gain more confidence. That alone is success.     -Tamara Taylor

Dear Parents,

I hope you enjoyed the extra hour we received Sunday with the time change and that your child(ren) can adjust to the change without much adjustment in their sleep!

As we transition into November, the holidays are around the corner and thus we are a third of the way into the school year.  The rhythm of working on, completing, and most importantly turning schoolwork in on time has (hopefully) become routine. It’s always a joy to walk into classrooms and see students working on various skills and activities; asking questions, helping each other, working with deadlines and various expectations within the assignments.  Please help your student for as long as they need the added support as they get their work habits into a routine. We all learn at different paces.

We have some students who are perfectionists. This is a great quality...unless taken to the extreme, with the student not wanting to turn assignments in unless they are perfect. Other students don’t know how to ask for help as they don’t want to be considered ‘not smart’. Many students can focus on the negative side of mistakes, thinking of them as personal failures rather than what they really are, which is the inevitable stepping stones necessary to achieve success. This can sometimes even freeze a student from doing their school work.

Help your student to remember that no one can become successful without many trials and errors.  Remind your student of the great phrase, “Yet”!

“I can’t do this yet, but with effort and time, I can get better at anything.”   

Parents and teachers are the guardians of our students' self-image.  Yes, we want them to work at the edge of their ability. Yes, we want them to want to do well and take pride in their successes. And if they don’t succeed the first time; congratulations, that means that they are learning how to get better.  They have achieved their goal; Yet!

Read on to hear what Robin, our mental health counselor, writes about Gratitude.



From our Counselor, Robin Bates:  Hello families! I had a wonderful time last month in the classrooms with your amazing children while focusing on our self-narratives. We read stories, created art, wrote letters to ourselves and had great discussions related to changing our narratives to build on our strengths.  

This month it seems only natural to focus on gratitude.  Over the years in my profession and personally, gratitude has been one of the most powerful tools I’ve experienced.  For example, it’s not hard to slip into a feeling of envy when we’re browsing through our social media outlets. Many children buy into others’ social media narratives and can suffer a dip in their self-esteem as they look at pictures of their peers’ “perfect worlds”.  Gratitude is a wonderful antidote for envy and other difficult feelings that we often struggle to talk about. There is research that suggests practicing gratitude improves our overall physical health, sleep, mood, sense of well-being and relationships. It is fascinating to learn about how powerful a simple concept can be in every aspect of our lives.  

In the classrooms, we will focus on gratitude for our strengths and how they contribute to our communities.  We will practice growth mindset activities to identify these strengths.  Your children may talk about the story we read and discussed, or the leaves we create or the gratitude writing we did.  

I truly believe there’s no better way to teach gratitude to our children than to practice it ourselves.  Examples could include creating thank you notes together, thanking at least one person every day, creating a daily gratitude list, keeping a gratitude journal or experimenting with simple mindfulness exercises (for example, taking a few moments to cultivate gratitude for a job well done, a meal well-cooked, or for our support of one another after a difficult time).

Last year for Thanksgiving, my family decided to create a “Gratitude Wishing Tree”, and we wrote on paper leaves and taped them to a little paper tree.  On the leaves, we wrote words describing things we hope to have gratitude for - those parts of our identity that we struggle with. It was a powerful way to create a shift in our thinking about our perceived flaws. I realized that my flaws were not weaknesses, but opportunities for strength.

My gratitude wish for all of you is to recognize your own unique strengths and the value in all of the time and effort you put into your children and families.  Thank you for sharing them with us!

Robin Bates

A wonderful quote from Mister Rogers:  "As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has--or ever will have--something inside that is unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression."    ~From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 463-465).



PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Please come: Wednesday, November 14 from 3:00-4:00 pm.  Now that we have reviewed the LCAP, we will be delving into priorities for the current year and into next year. To view the LCAP review for Charter click on the link below:  LCAP Review.  Please note: the slides do not contain the notes to the presentation, which included the small class sizes that impact the test scores (reliability as the sole indicator of students ability). Additional conversation added depth and understanding to the slides.  If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me directly. [email protected]

The Parent Advisory Committee is a critical component to ensure that parent input has a consistent say in the development of our programs that make up the Charter school.  

Please come to this meeting: learn more about the Charter and tell me what is important to you.  I would like to have representation from every program on the Parent Advisory Committee.



All Charter Musical: Into the Well!: An original rock musical:

This year the play will be, "Into the Well". This story incorporates fairy tale characters from many different stories such as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, The Frog Prince, Goldilocks, Jack and the Beanstalk, and many more.  Songs and scenes include a giant singing Bob Dylan tunes, punk-rock huntsman, and runway models gone awry! Music ranges from Motown, funk, pop, punk, and good ole' rock n' roll. The students have received their roles and rehearsals are underway.

Campus Rehearsals: 3-5:30 pm, Mondays and Tuesdays  Performance Week: February 4-9



What’s Going on in Our Charter School?  ..little snippets of some of our programs.

CRHS:  The Harvest Festival we had last Monday was very successful. There was live music, a snack shack, pumpkin painting/decorating, worm exploration and raffle. Thank you to the Leadership students and Melanie Burgess who volunteered their time and ideas to the festival; they all did a great job! Many students have signed up to go to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival on April 22-24. This will be a joint field trip excursion with students from CRHS and 8th graders from our QHIA program.  Amber and Kay are working together on this rich and exciting trip. An initial parent meeting is planned for November 6 at 6 pm for CRHS parents.

CRMS: We have been working on practicalities of planning an amusement park, with the number and placement of bathrooms (even down to how many toilets), benches, garbage cans, and security measures using different helpful websites. We were happy and surprised to know that there's an online toilet calculator, which the students used to figure out toilet numbers. We will start the rough drafts of our amusement parks next week. Our Tech Museum Field Trip was great! Thanks to all our drivers and to Mark for taking them. It left the students wanting more; they could have spent more time at the regular exhibits as there's just so much to see. The roller coaster lab did some enlightening about how the physics and designing of roller coasters happen, just perfect for our class.  Students took the Gallup Poll, and we did more work with Growth Mindset, trying to identify fixed and growth mindsets and the behaviors that accompany them in order to get out of our own way if we are limiting ourselves. We are continuing our swim unit in PE and the weather is cooperating nicely!

Nature Academy: 6th, 7th, and 8th grade: Friday, November 9 is the end of the first trimester. Students will be working on their self-assessments, reflecting on how their content skills have developed and what they would like to focus on in order to get better.  6th-grade class: 7-8th-grade students had a fun and successful science Field Trip to the Exploratorium in San Francisco last week. In classes, they are learning about radio waves and developing a radio show as well as reading and writing about the Middle Ages. 6th graders are continuing to add to their Country Report and are planning their trip to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum as part of their study of Egypt.

Quail Hollow Integrated Arts (QHIA): We spent some time doing “classroom culture” work, and what we call an “anonymous school climate check-in.” Students provide anonymous feedback on what is working for them and what is challenging for them academically and socially here at QHIA. We read their responses (anonymously) and the students really resonate with what their peers are sharing. We devoted a large chunk of our time talking about inclusivity, and how our classroom is a safe environment for students of all ethnicities, genders, economic status, challenges and strengths in academics, etc.

Quail Hollow Homeschool: Robin came in and shared with our class.  She read the story, Stellaluna, about a little bat trying to find her identity.  We read The Rough-Faced Girl, a Canadian Native American Cinderella story and filled out our comparison chart together.  After lunch and recess, we had a short science experiment, where they had to predict which liquid would dissolve a candy pumpkin the quickest. We took a trip to Natural Bridges to see the Monarch Butterflies. Friends were able to learn facts and information about the life cycle through a docent presentation and observe the butterflies through a telescope. We also did a science project where the students needed to design a boat that not only floated but also carried cargo (pennies). We were pretending to be traveling from North America to South America and needed to cross the Panama Canal.

Fall Creek Homeschool: Our Halloween was a fun filled active day. We all rotated through many fun activities that parents helped to create and support. Lisa shared the story of her ancestors and family tree. She wore a brooch made circa 1840 and showed the kids a photo of her great-great-grandmother wearing the brooch. We ended the day with a circle in which we named characteristics or qualities that we think we inherited from relatives. The 5th grade went to the garden. We had a Rock-o-Rama! We tried to label each rock or mineral in a collection with its correct name. We worked through 5 different collections! By the third one, some of us were recognizing certain rocks and minerals correctly. We made cork boats with sails and long cords for handles. We hiked up to the pond and floated them in the water. We then hiked up to the big log, ate lunch and played a few “eagle eye” games and had fun in the redwoods – what a beautiful day!

Mountain IS: We had a brief introduction to El Dia De Los Muertos (or The Day of the Dead) celebration. We learned that during this holiday we reflect on and celebrate members of our family who have passed on. We read about this joyful celebration and learned about some of the activities families do to remember the connection they have with those that have come before.

They also had an engaged but brief work period, some doing math, language, geography, science, and some fun counting and division with the snack! Please see Individualized work.

Art: Drawing Dogs Music: focused on the pace of music, and multisyllabic works as beats



Community opportunities:



Dates to Remember: (Please refer to your program’s newsletter for greater detail regarding dates and details specific to your program’s Field Trips and class events.)

  • November 12th:  No School- Veterans Day
  • November 13th: Picture retake day for all homeschool programs :  (time TBD)
  • November 19-23rd:  No School- Thanksgiving Break
  • December 21st-Jan 4th:  No School- Winter Break